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Ground Zero Mosque Developments

Over at Foreign Policy, Joshua Keating reports on an interesting development - Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal (supporter of other mosque construction and a part owner of FoxNews) disagrees with the placement so close to Ground Zero:

"Those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York..."

But that hasn't deterred the forces arrayed to "build" the center and mosque.

...Rauf has already rejected the advice, saying, "we plan to build the community centre in this location because we have been part of Lower Manhattan for decades and we want to better serve the needs of our neighbours of all faith traditions."...

I know this will irritate some of you (tough) but here's Pat Condell's version of why we (public opinion) need to stop this mosque from being built and opened next September 11th - via The Jawa Report.

Imam Rauf's arguments are that the Cordoba Initiative is related to the Cordoba mosque in Spain that was built around 800AD and, depending on your mileage (may vary), ushered in an era of tolerance and peace in Spain. Over at the Beeb, both sides are presented. I think it's safe to say that what sufficed as religious tolerance in 900AD Spain would not even come close to what we Westerners would consider "tolerant".

In Islamic Spain, Jews and Christians were tolerated if they:

  • acknowledged Islamic superiority
  • accepted Islamic power
  • paid a tax called Jizya to the Muslim rulers and sometimes paid higher rates of other taxes
  • avoided blasphemy
  • did not try to convert Muslims
  • complied with the rules laid down by the authorities. These included:
    • restrictions on clothing and the need to wear a special badge
    • restrictions on building synagogues and churches
    • not allowed to carry weapons
    • could not receive an inheritance from a Muslim
    • could not bequeath anything to a Muslim
    • could not own a Muslim slave
    • a dhimmi man could not marry a Muslim woman (but the reverse was acceptable)
    • a dhimmi could not give evidence in an Islamic court
    • dhimmis would get lower compensation than Muslims for the same injury

And this ruling from around 1100AD:

A Muslim must not massage a Jew or a Christian nor throw away his refuse nor clean his latrines. The Jew and the Christian are better fitted for such trades, since they are the trades of those who are vile.